Leadership Day at Waterville

Emma O’Connor shows how she is involved with dance through her Leadership Day project. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)


By Suzanne Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

Kellen Gurnard plays the drums during the opening presentation of Leadership Day. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

Waterville School held its Leadership and Learning Day on March 30. The annual event celebrates the unique strengths of each student and showcases how the school meets its mission of “Cultivating Leaders Who THRIVE.”

The daylong event started with a 90-minute program put on by the students. The theme was “Imagine the Unimagined.” This is part of the ongoing Leader In Me program for schools and “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids” by Stephen Covey.

The program opened with Dakota Grillo singing the national anthem.

There were musical performances by students and class groups, and individual students shared their own success stories.

High school seniors Jacob Stibal, Will Osborne and Cody Deshazer shared their experience of training to become firefighters in Douglas County.

Sixth-grader Mark Tongate shared his success with weightlifting and how it has improved his life. He started out at 15 pounds on the bench press and is now at 125 pounds.

Hannah Barnhill shows her research about parrots. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

Senior Brooke Simmons talked about the effort that she has made to apply for 20 college scholarships.

Presentations were made by students from the DECA Club, the science class talking about their project for the Samsung Solve for Tomorrow contest, officers from the Associated Student Body talking about various student activities, members of the B.A.D.D. Club (Breaking Addictive and Destructive Decisions) talking about the new Wyldlife Club for middle school students and their recent cultural fair and “gym sale,” and the Girl Scouts talking about their cookie sale and the scouting program.

Following the opening program, refreshments were provided by Molina Health Care and those attending were taken on tours of the school to view projects that students in kindergarten through twelfth grade had been working on throughout the year.

Superintendent Cathi Nelson has been the driving force behind the school’s Leader in Me program since it was initiated several years ago. She is now observing her efforts through the achievements of the students.

Middle and high school Principal Tabatha Mires thanked Nelson for all of her hard work and announced that Nelson would be retiring at the end of the school year in June.


Johnna Hope and Joslyn Lucero with their project about veterinary medicine. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)